|Founded||February 13, 1800|
|Named for||Centre Furnace, the first industrial facility in the area|
|Largest borough||State College|
|• Total||1,113 sq mi (2,880 km2)|
|• Land||1,110 sq mi (2,900 km2)|
|• Water||3.0 sq mi (8 km2) 0.3%|
|• Density||147/sq mi (57/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||12th, 15th|
|Designated||May 10, 1982|
Centre County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 158,172. Its county seat is Bellefonte. Centre County comprises the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The lands of the future Centre County were first recorded by James Potter in 1764. Potter, having reached the top of Nittany Mountain, and "....seeing the prairies and noble forest beneath him, cried out to his attendant, 'By heavens, Thompson, I have discovered an empire!'"  After the American Revolutionary War, Centre County was created on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties; it was named for its central location in the state.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,113 square miles (2,880 km2), of which 1,110 square miles (2,900 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in Pennsylvania by area and uses area code 814.
Centre has a humid continental climate which is warm-summer (Dfb) except near the Bald Eagle Creek from Wingate downstream where it is hot-summer (Dfa). Average temperatures in downtown State College range from 26.0 °F (−3.3 °C) in January to 70.7 °F (21.5 °C) in July, while in Milesburg they range from 26.4 °F (−3.1 °C) in January to 71.7 °F (22.1 °C) in July and in Snow Shoe they range from 23.8 °F (−4.6 °C) in January to 68.0 °F (20.0 °C) in July.
As of the census of 2010, there were 153,990 people, 57,573 households, and 31,256 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km2). There were 63,297 housing units at an average density of 57 per square mile (22/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.4% White, 3.0% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 57,573 households, out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 15.9% under the age of 18, 28.9% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 107.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.1 males.
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Centre County as the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the metropolitan area ranked 13th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 259th most populous in the United States with a population of 155,403. Centre County is also a part of the larger State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Centre County as well as Clearfield County to the west. The Combined Statistical Area ranked ninth in the State of Pennsylvania and 123rd most populous in the United States with a population of 236,577.
As of August 29 2022, there were 105,240 registered voters in Centre County.
Centre County had for many years been a strongly Republican county, like most of rural Pennsylvania. In the early 21st century, however, it has been more competitive. In 2000 George W. Bush defeated Al Gore with 52% of the vote to Gore's 43%. In 2004 Bush won the county by a much smaller margin. Bush won 51% to Kerry's 47%, a margin of only 4%. In 2006, Governor Ed Rendell and Bob Casey Jr. both carried Centre, and Democrat Scott Conklin decisively won the State House seat left open by the retirement of Republican Lynn Herman in the 77th district. In 2008, Democrats captured the countywide registration edge, Barack Obama carried the county with 55% of the vote to McCain's 44%, and Democratic statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer and Jack Wagner for Auditor General also carried Centre).
In 2012, Barack Obama won the county in his reelection campaign by a very narrow margin, 48.9% to 48.65%, a difference of just 175 votes. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton beat Republican nominee Donald Trump 47.76% to 45.86%. In that same election, incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey beat Democratic opponent Katie McGinty 47.91% to 46.2% in the county.
As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010.
University Park Airport operates daily commercial and general aviation flights.
There are six Pennsylvania state parks in Centre County.
Centre County's main daily newspaper is the Centre Daily Times (part of the McClatchy Company chain). Alternative newspapers include the Centre County Gazette and State College City Guide. Newspapers of Pennsylvania State University's main campus include the student-run Daily Collegian.
Numerous magazines are also published including Town & Gown, State College Magazine, Good Life in Happy Valley, Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.
The radio market of Centre County is ranked #257 in the nation. Some of the more popular stations include WPSU, WKPS, WMAJ, WQWK, WFGE, WBHV, WZWW, WRSC, WAPY, and WBUS.
Centre County is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College television market, which is currently ranked #99 in the nation. Television stations broadcasting out of State College include WPSU (PBS) and WHVL-LD (MyNetworkTV) as well as C-NET, Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network, which broadcasts on two channels: CGTV (Government Access TV) and CETV (Educational Access TV). Johnstown-based WJAC-TV (NBC) and Altoona-based WTAJ-TV (CBS) also maintain satellite studios and offices here.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, home rule municipalities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following municipalities, boroughs and townships are in Centre County:
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Centre County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|2||Park Forest Village||CDP||9,660|
|12||Pine Grove Mills||CDP||1,502|